Bob Geller of Fusion PR has a series of great blog posts up about his interview with Dr. Thomas Grant of Forrester Research. Grant recently published a report entitled “Tech Marketers Pursue Antiquated Marketing Strategies.”
This is one of my favorite parts:
Are tech companies under-investing in PR relative to other industries?
I think they are under-investing where PR is going… PR doesn’t have to be just about announcements about new products.
One of the areas that is often misunderstood is the value of a new success story… what people look for in a success story is not necessarily what vendors think they are looking for… which is usually just validation that the vendor is wonderful.
If you are looking at PR as a conduit for information that will have an effect on a potential buyer or will help keep a customer loyal, having a story about how someone addressed a problem – even if the vendor is a minor character or not even mentioned – is still going to get my attention…
Customer stories are a big part of a lot of the work I do with clients now, and the source of many back and forth editing cycles with clients is that last point by Dr. Grant. In many cases, I will dial back the specific client mentions in a story to a minimum, and during editing they get built right back up. The point I make is that customers are looking for solutions to problems that they have. Show how the problem was solved, and your product was part of it, but don’t let your product overwhelm the solution to the problem.